“To L and Back” L Word Podcast Episode 605: Litmus Test with Shannon de Zeeuw

Producer Shannon de Zeeuw joins us for 605, Litmus Test, in which the girls gather at the wired-for-sound Hit Club to determine if Dylan is a good person or a dirty schemer through Niki Stevens entrapment, Jenny hits the jackpot by stealing Alice’s screenplay idea, Alice and Jamie have a third wheel crush, Dylan and Helena have sex with NO MUSIC, Niki Stevens dances alone in slow-motion and so much less!

The usual:

Riese: Hi, I’m Riese!

Carly: And I’m Carly!

Riese: And this is—

Carly and Riese: To L and Back!

Carly: A podcast—

Riese: About The L Word.

Carly: …About The L Word, where we recap every episode of The L Word.

Riese: That’s it. That’s what it is. That’s still what it is. That’s what we’re still doing.

Carly: We’re still doing it. We’ve been doing this for years.

Riese: Recapping The L Word. Yes. Yeah. That’s my number one life’s passion. Besides reading novels and eating snack food is recapping The L Word.

Carly: I want to announce that I have read one full novel in the year 2021. And that it’s already one more than I read in the year 2020. No, that’s not… I read one book in February of 2020.

Riese: Oh, okay.

Carly: So pre-pandemic I read a book and then once the pandemic happened, I guess I forgot how to read books. I just couldn’t do it anymore, but I read a book recently and I’m like, “I read now.” So.

Riese: I’m so proud of you.

Carly: Yeah. It’s pretty exciting. You’ve read like 50 books, but I’ve read one.

Riese: I’ve read 13 books so far in 2021.

Carly: It’s crazy. I’m really impressed.

Riese: So if anybody wants to follow me on Goodreads, I am always looking for new friends on Goodreads.

Carly: Oh, fun.

Riese: Roxane Gay reads so many books.

Carly: Wow.

Riese: Because I follow her on Goodreads, she reads so many books. I’m like, “How do you do so many things?”

Carly: That’s wild.

Riese: She does so many things.

Carly: It’s tough because I enjoy reading books, but a lot of the time I fall asleep. Just the act of reading for a while puts me to sleep.

Riese: Interesting.

Carly: I don’t know if this is a unique thing to me or other people.

Riese: Literally nothing puts me to sleep.

Carly: Well, yeah.

Riese: Besides heavy narcotics.

Carly: Yes. That too. It’s like reading and drugs are the only things that get me to sleep. So it makes it hard to be a reader, but now I’ve read one book. So I’m back in the game.

Riese: I listen to them too. I do audio books.

Carly: See, I need to do audio. I think that would help because I enjoy listening to things quite a bit.

Riese: Right. And I have this thing so it syncs up with the book.

Carly: Oh, it syncs?

Riese: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I can go back and forth from the Kindle to the — it’s called Whispersync, it’s incredible.

Carly: Oh my God. I have to see if my Kindle has this feature. I have a very old Kindle. Okay, cool. Well, now that we did an ad campaign for Amazon.

Riese: Amazon, an ethical company where everything—

Carly: An ethical company that makes cool things. Okay.

Riese: It’s really enhancing our quality of life.

Carly: Oh my God. All right. So we’re here to recap an episode of The L Word.

Riese: And also, there’s someone else.

Carly: Oh my God! Everyone, we have a very special guest today.

Riese: Would you like to introduce yourself?

Shannon: I’m Shannon. I’m a producer, a lesbian, a New Yorker, a consumer of lesbian content and a former L word GQ crew member.

Carly: Ooh, we have so many questions.

Riese: So how was that?

Carly: That’s the first question.

Shannon: It was a lot. Like most things L Word, as you know, it was like a love-hate thing. It was — parts of it were really amazing and great, and parts of it made me feel like death.

Riese: That’s Hollywood.

Shannon: That’s Hollywood, baby!

Riese: I was going to say that’s showbiz.

Carly: That’s showbiz, baby. And that is so apt for this episode too. There’s a lot of showbiz stuff happening in this episode.

Shannon: A lot of showbiz.

Riese: There’s so much showbiz.

Carly: A lot of inside baseball Hollywood.

Riese: There sure is, yeah. What were the good parts?

Shannon: I mean—

Riese: The parts that won’t stop Showtime from wanting to sponsor our podcast.

Shannon: No, it was great. I mean, working as a fan of the show growing up and as someone who it did impact growing up, it was one of those, “Oh, this is happening” moments. But then, I mean, I am someone who has had all these dream jobs come to them somehow. I was Angelina Jolie’s assistant as a child in my early 20s. I wasn’t a child, I wasn’t a child.

Carly: Sometimes celebrities want to have under-age assistants so that they cannot go anywhere they need them to go.

Riese: Little known fact, Angelina Jolie only hires people under the age of 13 to work for her. She loves children.

Carly: She does love children.

Shannon: No. I was in my early 20s, guys. She does. So I feel like with those kinds of jobs, it’s really exciting to get. And then once I have them, it’s like, “Oh, this isn’t just a job.”

Carly: People always think that, “Oh, you must have this glamorous life and these glamorous jobs.” And I’m like, “It’s still work, it’s still a job.” There’s definitely moments that are incredibly surreal, but it’s still a job.

Shannon: For sure.

Riese: Yeah, for sure.

Carly: Wow, I just want to talk about Angelina Jolie. Let me focus. What is your L Word origin story?

Shannon: Oh, boy.

Carly: What was going on in your life when you first watched this show?

Shannon: Without getting into the gory details of discovering my sexuality… but when I was 16, in my high school, we had to do these internships. And I had an internship at a theater company, which I will not name on air. And there was a lesbian that worked there, who I became very close to and had this five-year back and forth dramatic relationship with. But she was seven years older than me—

Riese: As you do.

Shannon: …and I was 16. But she — in-between our five-year relationship — is that what I’m going to call it? Sure. She dated Kate Moenning and—

Riese: Interesting.

Shannon: …I heard about this pilot Earthlings, heard a lot about it.

Carly: Oh, wow. Earthlings.

Shannon: I didn’t have showtime. And then in college, my freshman year I bought the box set and made all my super straight New England friends pile into bed one New Hampshire day and just devoured it.

Riese: Yes, perfect.

Shannon: And they loved it. They fucking loved it. I think then we got the second season. It was all like DVDs though because that’s—

Riese: So what year was it when you started watching the box sets?

Shannon: Probably 2005.

Riese: Okay. So you were watching it at the same time that the world was watching it?

Shannon: Yeah.

Carly: But a little delayed, like you would wait for the DVDs?

Shannon: Yeah.

Carly: Yeah.

Shannon: And then eventually I just had to stop watching it. I never watched season six until I think… I mean, I read everything about it and knew about it and probably watched like an episode or two, but I was just like, “I can’t do this.” But then when I got a job on Gen Q, I was like, “Okay, I’m going to do it.” Because I just watched them all before that.

Riese: Right. All over again.

Shannon: Yeah.

Carly: Yeah.

Shannon: And I was hit with all that trauma again. So… No, I love The L Word, you guys.

Carly: We do too. This is a labor of love.

Shannon: I actually used to watch your guys’s… vlogs? I guess?

Carly: Oh my God. Are you serious?

Shannon: Yeah!

Carly: Internet relics.

Shannon: I mean, this is a real full circle moment.

Riese: They were really good vlogs, I thought. Some of them are still up and, I think, very funny.

Carly: I have not watched them since we made them.

Shannon: Ooh!

Riese: Oh really? I have. I did a little re-watch and some of it’s very funny.

Carly: I’m going to make you send me some links later, Riese. I think I need to re-watch this and see.

Riese: Okay. All right. When you watched those videos, were you, like, “These people are really cool and funny.” Or were you like, “I don’t know if I want to be gay after all.”

Shannon: I totally was — because you guys are slightly older than me, but we would have been in the same high school together. And I didn’t really have lesbian community when I was in New York. I always had lesbian friends who were ex’s friends or like that. And so it was nice, “Oh, these are people I could hang out with.”

Riese: And now you are!

Shannon: And now here we are.

Carly: Virtually, because of a pandemic.

Riese: When you walked onto the set of Generation Q, were you like, “Hey Kate Moennig, we have an ex in common.”

Shannon: Never mentioned it, not once.

Riese: Good.

Shannon: Marja knows all about it.

Riese: Did you tell everyone else?

Shannon: Yes.

Carly: So everyone but Kate?

Riese: Wow. Interconnectivity.

Shannon: It was just like a lot of the chart happening and whatnot.

Carly: This is the chart.

Riese: This is the chart. Everything we’ve mentioned so far is connected to everything else we’ve ever mentioned in our lives.

Carly: The theme of this podcast is interconnectivity.

Riese: OurChart.com.

Carly: And science.

Shannon: Isn’t that what the theme of lesbianism is?

Carly: Correct.

Riese: Interconnectivity.

Carly: Exactly.

Riese: That’s what scissoring is. It’s just connecting. Who was your favorite character?

Shannon: Well, famously it’s Dana. And when I say famously, I just mean when I was working on Gen Q, photos of this picture I had of Dana in my office that had a little plaque that said — is that what it says? “In memory of Dana Fairbanks.”

Riese: Dear listeners, we should screenshot it.

Carly: Yeah, we should. Okay. Are you ready? I’m going to take a screenshot.

Shannon: Wait.

Riese: I’m ready. Let me look really cute.

Carly: We did it.

Riese: So right now you’re sitting in front of a Dana Fairbanks memorial plaque.

Shannon: True fact, which I don’t have this on display in my home.

Carly: All you need is a hammer and a nail.

Riese: As the Indigo Girls famously said.

Shannon: In an office, I could do it. I don’t think I could justify it in my home.

Carly: I get that.

Shannon: Maybe in the bathroom. Is that weird?

Carly: Oh, that’s a lovely place for an in memoriam character plaque is in the bathroom.

Riese: Yeah, it is.

Shannon: But I have this on display for Carly and Riese’s viewing.

Carly: This is beautiful. We have a screenshot. We’ll post it on the Instagram. It’s a beautiful work of art.

Shannon: Well, this was hanging in my office, which was right next to Marja’s office. So casts would come and have meetings.

Carly: Oh my God.

Shannon: So Leisha and Kate got wind of this and Leisha sent a photo of it to Erin Daniels, which was just a dream.

Riese: Thrilling.

Shannon: Thrilling. Just knowing that she knows that I am crazy enough to have this in my office, but also we need to remember Dana.

Carly: It’s important. It’s part of our culture. Should we get into the episode?

Riese: Yeah, let’s get into the episode. Let’s get into it.

Carly: And just stop delaying the inevitable? Today’s episode: 6.05 Litmus Test. This one actually makes sense as a title. Mostly. Kind of. It was written and directed by Angela Robinson who, as always, we will say that we love because we do.

Riese: Yes. And I also would like to say just, I’m sorry to her just in general that you had to do this episode and be involved with it. And you really tried.

Carly: I think she did the best she could have.

Shannon: She did the best she could with what she was doing.

Carly: Yeah. This originally aired February 15th, 2009. Shall we get into it?

Riese: Yes.

Shannon: Let’s go.

Carly: Let’s go.

Riese: We open at The Planet. I know that we’ve just started. I don’t want to start with a tangent, but once again, I got the feeling from this episode that their budget for season six was maybe $75.

Shannon: I feel like they shot so much of this season just on the stage.

Riese: Yeah, exactly.

Carly: They were just at The Planet and at Hit Club in every scene.

Shannon: Yeah.

Riese: They spend more time in The Planet in season six than they have, I want to say, since season one.

Shannon: I don’t know any working people who have that much time before work to just—

Riese: No. Well, speaking of—

Shannon: I mean, I guess Alice is a writer but, whatever.

Riese: So everyone’s at The Planet and we learn that Jenny’s screenplay sold for half a million dollars. And it’s an action comedy about a talk show host and a cop.

Carly: Interesting.

Shannon: Sounds vaguely familiar.

Carly: Kind of familiar like a treatment I heard about once.

Shannon: A treatment?

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: A treatment.

Riese: Yeah. Alice’s handwritten treatment, which we recently had the pleasure of viewing in the kitchen of Jennifer Schechter. And of course, Alice hears this and is like, “Excuse me, that’s my idea.”

Carly: Yeah. “She stole my idea.” Also, real quick, I know that we can’t try to figure out what time is on the show, but how has Jenny already finished and sold the script? Like, last episode she was writing it.

Shannon: Also, they said there was a bidding war.

Carly: That takes time. It takes time for these things to happen.

Shannon: Which — Jennifer Schecter, a new lesbian writer whose film has never seen the light of day—

Carly: Would never happen.

Shannon: Would never happen.

Carly: 1000%, would not happen.

Shannon: No.

Riese: The thing is that, in our last episode, Helena went to Dylan’s house and said, “Have dinner with me this weekend.” Or something along those lines, right?

Carly: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Riese: And in this episode we see it’s like Thursday or Friday and they’re having dinner on Saturday. Again, time is—

Carly: It stands to reason that Jenny wrote—

Riese: It stands to reason that Jenny wrote this in a day?

Carly: Here’s what’s up. She wrote the treatment in one day. She wrote the first draft the next day. She did full notes, rewrites, et cetera, over the next six hours. Found new agents or a new manager because they fired her.

Riese: Oh, right. Yeah.

Carly: So she had to locate them. That took 20 minutes. They were probably just hanging out at The Planet. That’s just where everybody is.

Riese: Yeah, like everyone.

Carly: She found them there. A bidding war happened, escalated and was resolved. I don’t know what, in a matter of hours? And so that’s really how this happened. And I think that that’s fine.

Riese: Science.

Carly: That’s realistic and has nothing to do with any sort of inter-dimensional disruption in electrical or magnetic fields, or any dresses that maybe are tainting everything around them.

Riese: No. Yeah, definitely not.

Carly: Nothing about that.

Riese: I think it’s just a normal thing where everyone’s own timeline is their own timeline. And, yes, they’re all at the same table at The Planet, but that doesn’t mean they’re all in the same dimension.

Carly: That’s a great point because everyone experiences time differently, as we know.

Riese: Right.

Shannon: Well, season six of the L word is Sci-Fi, right?

Carly: Exactly. Yes.

Riese: It is.

Carly: Everything about this season is science fiction.

Riese: You can catch it on the Syfy channel. That’s S-Y-F-Y, Syfy.

Carly: It is L Word reruns on, again, S-Y-F-Y.

Shannon: I will say in Gen Q, one of the writers, Allie Romano. She really kept track of timing and stuff.

Riese: Oh, really?

Shannon: Yeah.

Carly: I love that. Thank God.

Shannon: So I don’t know that Ilene Chaiken had that. I guess, she doesn’t.

Carly: Every writer’s room needs the person that tracks time and that person wasn’t there for the OG, seriously.

Shannon: I mean, I don’t know if this is annoying. I’m going to keep interjecting with Gen Q tidbits.

Riese: No, it’s not annoying.

Carly: Yes. Please do. We are living for this.

Shannon: Those scenes of The Planet and stuff when all the OG — or I guess, in Gen Q, in the writer’s room, we’d call them “Gals Gabs” when the OGs are sitting around at a bar or a coffee shop or wherever they may be.

Carly: Oh my God. I love that.

Riese: Gals Gabs?!

Shannon: Gals Gabs.

Riese: Man, I wish we had known that earlier in this podcast.

Carly: We would have started using that too.

Riese: We would have started using that and us too.

Shannon: Well, you can use it towards the finale.

Carly: For our remaining handful of episodes.

Riese: For the last three.

Carly: So we’re at a Girls Gab at The Planet because Bette and Tina now work at The Planet and it’s very annoying. They’re on dueling phone calls, making a whole scene, but whatever. The point is, Alice is real pissed at Jenny and she screams, “Schechter is so fucking dead!” And then storms out of there.

Shannon: Are they planting some seeds there for the spin-off that never was?

Riese: I think it’s probably just a figure of speech.

Carly: It seems subtle, whatever it is.

Riese: Whatever it is, yeah. It’s as subtle as a hit on the head with a hammer and a nail.

Shannon: A great Indigo Girls song, by the way.

Riese: Yes, thank you. This is the time you’ve referenced it so far in this episode and I’ll continue to do so.

Carly: Oh my God.

Riese: Then we go to Shenny’s house where Alice has come over to yell at Jenny about stealing her idea.

Alice: You sold your screenplay for half a million dollars? Jenny, you stole my idea!

Riese: And Jenny’s like, “Yeah, Shane is going to take me to dinner to congratulate me.” Even though Jenny is the one who just made half a million dollars. But, anyway. She says, it’s just a coincidence that it bears resemblance to ideas that Alice jotted down.

Carly: She did jot them down.

Shannon: From the idea well.

Carly: Yes.

Alice looking shocked and upset

Riese: Exactly. Has anyone ever really talked about the idea well?

Shannon: I mean, Riese, you’re a writer. I’ve worked with a lot of writers. I’ve not heard the term idea well really, but…

Riese: I’ve not heard this phrase. Yeah.

Shannon: Jenny Schecter knows, so…

Carly: If anyone would know, it’s Jenny.

Riese: You know when the olden days when they’d be like, “What happened to the children? Did they fall down the well?” That’s my idea well.

Carly: That’s the idea well.

Riese: It’s like the well that people are inspecting to see if children fell down into it. And that’s really all it’s doing. It’s roped off.

Carly: Oh, because it’s like an active crime scene investigation.

Riese: My idea well is an active crime scene.

Carly: Sure, that tracks.

Riese: After we get done with it, then we’ll go back and we’ll put water back in. We’ll see how it goes for everybody.

Carly: You’re going to need a lot of water.

Shannon: A lot.

Riese: The thing about this conflict is that it’s a cop and a talk show host, come on.

Carly: Well, as we know, Jenny is not really good at taking real things and fictionalizing them as we saw with—

Shannon: I don’t know what you mean.

Carly: You know what? Let’s brainstorm a little. What could these two characters’ professions have been that would have prevented Alice from yelling at Jenny? Instead of a cop and a talk show host.

Riese: A cop and a…

Carly: What about a podcaster and an army sergeant?

Shannon: Oh, yeah.

Riese: Yeah, exactly. It could have been a KCRW radio host and an unemployed person.

Carly: Yes.

Shannon: It could have been a talk show host, and… what do you think Tasha is doing now?

Riese: A mall security guard.

Carly: Well, Rose Rollins is about to be on a new show where she plays a women’s college basketball coach. So maybe it’s a—

Shannon: Ooh!

Riese: That’s true.

Carly: Maybe it’s a talk show host and a basketball coach, and that would have been very ahead of its time.

Shannon: I would have watched that.

Carly: Also, I would absolutely watch that.

Riese: You know what didn’t occur to me also until just this minute, is that this is a lesbian film. There was a bidding war in 2009 for a lesbian film?

Shannon: Oh, God.

Carly: Is there even a bidding war now for a lesbian film?

Shannon: And it’s not a period piece.

Riese: Yeah. It takes place in the present day. There’s electricity, there’s a small set of civil rights.

Carly: So they’re not wearing 18 layers of dresses and corsets, you’re telling me?

Riese: No.

Shannon: The only lesbian films we had were like Wolfe video films, right?

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Right.

Riese: Right. I know. Wolfe video fell out of the bidding war really early.

Carly: Wolfe video just made sure there weren’t bidding wars because they got in there early and they got those scripts. They got those films, they got those rights.

Riese: Yeah. They got them.

Carly: They got them, gobbled them up.

Riese: Gobbled them right up. Right. So then Shane comes down and Alice is like, “If you don’t take my side in this,” basically — well, she doesn’t talk about sides yet—

Carly: No, but she will.

Riese: But she’s like, “Jenny is a snake. And if you continue to shack up with her, then we’re not friends.”

Carly: And Shane’s like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Whoa, whoa, whoa. What’s going on?”

Shannon: She was like, “You guys.”

Carly: The theme of this episode is that Shane is exhausted.

Riese: Yeah.

Shannon: I mean, look who she is dating. I don’t want to talk about it, Riese, because I know you’re a huge supporter of Shenny.

Carly: Big fan.

Riese: Well, I will say last episode when they started doing the clutter cleaning and the redoing of the rooms — which has already been reversed somehow, but we’ll get to that later — is that now there’s this new Jenny. I know there’s other seasons where she’s been a conniving, manipulative person, but last season, that’s where it started flipping over. And now she’s just gone off the rails.

Shannon: Oh, yeah.

Riese: Because they’re trying to justify literally murdering her.

Shannon: Right.

Carly: Yes.

Riese: And so they have to find a way to make her murderable to sell this story. But you can’t just retcon your characters to sell a story.

Shannon: No.

Carly: Why not?

Shannon: I mean, honestly, I do really enjoy the Jenny-Alice bickering stuff.

Carly: Yeah. I really do enjoy their scenes together. Although I found it was getting a bit much this episode, but generally…

Shannon: But this is really them just planting the seed that Alice killed Jenny.

Carly: Over her screenplay ideas.

Shannon: Over her screenplay.

Riese: Over her screenplay treatment.

Carly: To quote Alice, “The treatment I gave you about the screenplay I was going to write.” Direct quote from Alice.

Shannon: Here’s another tidbit — think in our first week of shooting, Jennifer Beals, at the end of a take, they’d bring up her friend Jenny died because they have to now fill in everyone.

Carly: Oh, the woman that died on her property?

Riese: Yeah, that was perfect.

Shannon: I think Jennifer Beals was like, “And I killed her.” Jennifer Beals was really convinced, I think, that Bette killed Jenny.

Riese: Wow!

Carly: Wait, okay. I love everything about that. And I think if any character on the show would have killed Jenny, I do think it is Bette.

Shannon: I think she would have hired someone to kill her.

Carly: 100%. She’s the only one that would have actually done it, but she would have hired someone.

Riese: There’s this quote in The Big Chill where he says he thinks rationalizations are great. The rationalization is better than sex, it’s the best thing that exists or whatever. And I feel like that’s how Bette operates. She can rationalize almost every bad decision she ever makes. She would murder Jenny completely like it was fine. “It had to be done, and I did it.” No qualms around it. You know what I mean?

Shannon: That’s the spinoff Ilene Chaiken should have tried to pitch.

Riese: Instead of The Farm.

Carly: Absolutely.

Shannon: Oh God, that was the title.

Carly: It sure was.

Shannon: Ooh, I had forgotten about that.

Riese: I think about it every day.

Shannon: I’m so sorry.

Riese: Well, where do we go next everybody?

Carly: Back to The Planet.

Riese: Seriously? Did they have no budget?

Carly: It’s just a continuation of what we were just doing. The best is that the first scene Alice is there and she leaves at the end of the scene. Then we go to Shenny’s, where she arrives and then leaves. And then we cut back to The Planet, where she arrives.

Shannon: And Bette and Tina haven’t budged. Still there.

Carly: They haven’t moved. They still have moved into The Planet and have set up doing offices.

Shannon: I only buy it since Kit owns The Planet, right? If it wasn’t a family member, I’d be like, “These bitches need to leave.”

Carly: You need to leave. Are you buying coffee?

Riese: Yeah. You have to continue to buy the coffee.

Carly: So that you get the WiFi password.

Riese: So Alice is on the phone with Tina and then she walks into The Planet and they’re on the phone with each other and that’s so cute. And she explains the situation and someone’s like, “Can you sue her?” I think Bette’s like, “Can you sue her?” And someone’s like, “It doesn’t work like that.” But I think she could sue her.

Carly: She hasn’t registered it with the WGA or anything. She hasn’t copywritten the idea. I don’t know if it would end well, but she could try. I also liked that Bette says.

Bette: I mean, does Joyce do copyright infringement?

Carly: Because the characters on the show—

Shannon: That’s the only lawyer they know.

Carly: They know one lawyer, they know one therapist, that’s it.

Riese: So, yeah. I don’t know. Maybe she couldn’t. And then Alice is raving about Jamie and how much she loves Jamie, and Bette’s like, “You have a third wheel crush.”

Shannon: Which I totally had forgotten about.

Riese: About the Jamie thing?

Shannon: Kind of. Again, this season is one that I really didn’t pay attention to for my own mental health. Because in Gen Q, the throuple I’m like, “Oh, Alice, this is her style.”

Carly: This is, like, your thing, Alice. I would like Alice to really lean into this.

Riese: Because maybe you are more of a throuple.

Shannon: And then she always chooses the wrong people. But, I mean.

Riese: Bette and Tina describe this whole third wheel crush process.

Bette: You’re having a third wheel crush.
Tina: You so are.
Bette: You have all the telltale signs. It starts when you’ve been dating your partner for quite a while and you’re starting to grow bored with one another and then you start fighting all the time.
Tina: And then you meet a new person and you start hanging out all the time. The three of you doing everything together and you know what? It’s just great. And this new person starts to revitalize the relationship, pouring all this energy and excitement into it. And the syndrome, it can last weeks, months, or even… Oh, you remember Sally?
Bette: Coco Lisa.
Tina: That one lasted a year.
Bette: I know.
Tina: Yeah. Just as long as it doesn’t…
Bette and Tina: Tip.

Riese: This is a real true thing in my experience.

Carly: This is totally a real thing. I feel like I’ve never heard the term “third wheel crush” used before. So they definitely invented a term.

Riese: Yeah. I’ve heard it about as often as I’ve heard “nipple confidence,” but…

Carly: Yeah. I just can’t believe that no one at this table suggested that they just have a threesome and get it over with. What the hell kind of friends are these?

Shannon: Yeah. Just fuck her already.

Carly: Seriously. You all want to, just do it.

Riese: Yeah. Because it’s true that now Alice and Tasha’s relationship has been re-invigorated by their excitement over Jamie, which happened to me and someone I used to date. But when we joked about it we said that she was our erotic third. That was the joke.

Carly: That’s the correct joke.

Shannon: Yeah.

Riese: Bette unfortunately says…

Bette: So you just check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Shannon: Oh, no.

Carly: That was unfortunate.

Shannon: A lot of great soundbites in this.

Carly: Actually, there was a lot of really cute stuff in this scene, and then there was that line, but there was so much of the scene that was just banter and, you know, that’s our favorite shit on the show anyway.

Shannon: Yeah. Totally.

Carly: So it’s like, this is just fun. But there was definitely a lot of stuff said where you were like, “Wait, what?”

Shannon: Well, there’s just a lot of lines where it’s just like, who wrote that? That’s not how people speak. Come on.

Carly: Exactly. And then Kit does a restyle segue, like a really… Lauren please put in the segue.

Kit: Ooh, girl, honey! That’s dangerous business. And speaking of dangerous business…
Helena: Ugh! I could do without the segue, Kit.
Alice: What? What?
Helena: I’m having dinner with Dylan on Saturday night.
Alice: Are you on crack?
Kit: Let me tell you.
Tina: Are you a masochist?
Kit: Lost her mind totally.
Alice: Why?

Riese: Thrilled.

Carly: That was for you.

Riese: I know it was for me. It was great. I almost filmed it and sent it immediately to you and Lauren just in recognition of them preemptively doing this for me.

Carly: I have all caps notes about this.

Riese: But I thought, no, I want Carly to experience it fresh, without knowing it’s coming.

Carly: I did and I was like, “Did Riese write this? Oh my God.”

Riese: So Helena was having dinner with Dylan on Saturday night because Dylan has…

Helena: Colonized my thoughts.
Alice: Wow, that’s deep.
Bette: Really? Colonized.

Shannon: Now, that sounds like—

Carly: Colonized her thoughts.

Shannon: Oh my goodness.

Carly: Alice proposes a test — a litmus test, if you will. This is just great. This is complete nonsense.

Shannon: But I also do think L Word at its best is when they’re doing these silly—

Carly: When they’re doing schemes.

Shannon: …scheming, like Laura, that famous—.

Carly: Exactly. I loved this. And so everyone’s throwing out ideas and honestly, this is the screenplay. What is the talk show host and the — this is the screen play. Oceans 7 because there are seven of them involved. And it’s obviously a prequel to Ocean’s 8 somehow.

Shannon: Ocean’s 8.

Riese: Yeah. Well the eighth is Angelica, but she’s asleep.

Carly: She’s always asleep because she’s a child.

Shannon: She’s a baby.

Riese: Yeah. They’re trying to determine if Dylan is either a sleazy gold digger or just a good person.

Carly: It’s only one of those two things.

Shannon: I mean, that’s the only way to judge people.

Carly: Exactly.

Shannon: There’s only two kinds of people.

Riese: In this world.

Carly: That’s Hollywood, baby.

Shannon: Yeah. Showbiz, baby.

Riese: Showbiz. I did feel a slight vibe of a lot of the actors doing the least, but they committed just enough. And this was very Angela Robinson. She’s very good at this type of schemey things.

Carly: Scheme, scheme, scheme, scheme, scheme.

Shannon: I mean, D.E.B.S. I don’t know if that’s a movie people talk about enough.

Riese: D.E.B.S. Hello. D.E.B.S. Yeah.

Carly: It’s not a movie that anyone’s talking about enough.

Riese: Carly loves it.

Carly: I love the movie D.E.B.S.

Riese: Anyhoo. So yeah, they plan this thing, Shane goes and gets Niki involved in it, Jenny pretends to be Niki’s manager, which is funny.

Shannon: I love how, in that scene, they just named the only directors they know.

Carly: Yes.

Shannon: Scorsese.

Riese: Scorsese.

Shannon: Spielberg.

Carly: Soderbergh.

Riese: Soderbergh, yeah.

Carly: Older white men whose last name start with S.

Shannon: Exactly.

Riese: Yes, exactly.

Shannon: I was just like, “Okay.”

Riese: That was the field. And Dylan’s like, “That’s weird that Niki would want me to direct her film. I’ve only done obscure documentaries.”

Carly: And she’s like, “She loves your documentaries!” The stuff with Jenny was so funny. She’s like, “She likes to party, she’s a whippersnapper. Meet her at the club.”

Riese: Hot, hot, hot.

Carly: Oh, that was fun. I enjoyed the whole montage. That was great.

Shannon: But also, I don’t think a general would happen at the club ever.

Carly: It fully would not. No general has ever happened at the club.

Shannon: No.

Carly: Because famously clubs are very loud.

Shannon: Well, I have a lot of notes too.

Carly: But not Hit Club!

Shannon: I have a lot of notes about that for when we get…

Carly: We’ll get there.

Riese: This is another episode that took place, I think from here on on out, in pitch darkness. I couldn’t see a single person after pretty much this scene.

Shannon: But it was also very quiet.

Carly: It was so quiet!

Riese: Yeah. We’ll get to that.

Carly: They’re at a restaurant and a nightclub for the most of the rest of the episode and it is very quiet.

Riese: In our next scene, we go to the second floor of a home where Jenny and Shane live, or maybe it’s the first floor. I don’t know where it is. But again, it’s very low lights here.

Shannon: One of the three sets.

Riese: Last episode, Jenny transformed Shane’s room into her office. That has been wiped from this slate.

Carly: Not a thing anymore.

Riese: That’s not a thing anymore. They both have bedrooms. Shane comes home, she lies on top of Jenny. It’s like they’re kind of sexy and they’re going to maybe hook up. But then when Shane mentions that she saw Niki today to recruit her for this event, Jenny is like, “You can’t do that.”

Shannon: Jenny goes into full blown, jealous—

Riese: Psycho.

Shannon: Psycho mode.

Riese: She’s like, “I forbid it because she betrayed us.”

Carly: And Shane’s like, “You can’t forbid me from talking to people and seeing people. You can’t do that.”

Riese: Yeah. And Shane does all of this with a toothbrush in her mouth. Cheers to that. You know what I mean? And she’s like, “You can’t forbid me to see anybody.” And Jenny’s like, “She betrayed us. I hate her. And you should hate her too out of loyalty to me.” And Shane wisely says, “That was me. Blame me, not Niki.” And that’s such a real thing, you know what I mean?

Carly: Yeah.

Shannon: Yeah.

Riese: So Jenny’s in like redrum mode sort of. And then Shane’s like, “I have no feelings.” And then they have this cute little thing where they make up. And Jenny apologizes. Shane goes downstairs and Jenny is like, “Okay, I’m wrong, I’m sorry. I have to trust you.”

Shannon: What did you say?

Riese: “I’m wrong.”

Carly: This was cute. But also, the whole time I was like, “Jenny is just being so manipulative.” Like, none of this is real. Or maybe she thinks it’s real in the moment, but it’s going to snap back when she is in the club.

Riese: Right. Because later on, everything goes back to normal.

Carly: So we go to The Olive Garden. The only fancy restaurant in Los Angeles. I wish this was at The Olive Garden.

Riese: I know.

Carly: Every time they’re at a restaurant, I just wish it was The Olive Garden.

Riese: Every time they go to a restaurant, we’re like, “Is this The Olive Garden? No? Oh.”

Carly: I think we just really badly missed The Olive Garden, is what’s happening.

Riese: Yeah. We both really want to go to The Olive Garden.

Shannon: Where in LA is there—

Carly: Burbank.

Shannon: Okay.

Riese: Burbank.

Carly: I’m like, Burbank. Do you want the address?

Riese: Anyway, so they’re at The Olive Garden and I hate this entire thing.

Carly: I hate everything that happens so much.

Riese: When it opens, they’re all laughing like something amazingly funny just happened. And then they said, “Felipe, you have to loosen up. I mean, life is too short for boring men.” And everyone’s like ha-ha.

Carly: This is the most obnoxious dinner. We’re just dropped into the most obnoxious dinner. It’s Bette and Tina, Kelly and a man who we later learned is Caleb, who’s an artist.

Riese: I swear they’ve used the name Caleb before. I swear they’ve used this actor before.

Carly: He looked like Henry, Tina’s ex, to me.

Riese: Kelly is very aggressively hitting on Bette during this scene.

Shannon: Oh, yeah. It was so uncomfortable.

Carly: Wild, yeah.

Shannon: For a work meal?

Carly: This is so inappropriate.

Shannon: Even if it’s someone you’ve dated, which, as a lesbian—

Riese: Is everyone.

Shannon: …in the entertainment industry…

Carly: I mean…

Shannon: You have these encounters, but you wouldn’t ever act that way at a professional dinner, I don’t think.

Riese: No.

Carly: Bette’s like, “Oh yeah, we met in college.” And then she’s like, “Oh, that’s the boring version of it. She was in love with me.” And I was like, “What the fuck?”

Riese: What are you doing?

Carly: And Tina is there the whole time just having to deal with this.

Shannon: Oh, yeah.

Carly: It’s so fucked.

Shannon: Tina’s just chewing through it.

Carly: She’s just chewing the whole scene.

Riese: Chewing on through it. Blue Is the Warmest Color-ing it. And the dude is like, “Well, now she’s taken.” And Kelly’s like, “You never know.” What?

Carly: This is like serial killer behavior.

Riese: Girl, she can hear you.

Shannon: It’s insane.

Carly: Maybe Kelly killed Jenny because she is clearly a sociopath.

Shannon: I mean, great.

Carly: Exactly. So Bette gets up to take a call. And Kelly is in front of Tina like, “I really feel like Bette is the one that got away for me.” And I was like, “Ah!” And then she’s like, “Oh right, Tina you’re here.”

Kelly: Does it bother you that I flirt shamelessly with your girlfriend?

Carly: Tina’s like, “Oh, no, of course not. But I did tell her that if she cheats on me again—”

Shannon: Again.

Carly: “That we are so through. So have fun being a little tease or whatever the hell this is that you’re doing.” And Kelly’s like…

Kelly: Thanks. I will.

Carly: And I was like, “This is horrifying.”

Riese: It’s also a weird thing because I think everyone knows they’re in a monogamous relationship. So the idea of Tina being like, “No, I told her if she cheats on me and we break up.” That’s a foregone conclusion at this point. There was such a weird response to this whole thing.

Carly: Yeah. So weird.

Riese: Anyway, this was psychotic.

Carly: And then things get worse, somehow.

Shannon: Then it gets wildly more inappropriate.

Carly: Truly. So, Aaron and William walk in with these two screenwriters that Tina has been putting a project together with for three years. And Bette’s like, “Why is that a bad thing?” And Tina’s like, “Because in this business not being invited to the meeting, means that you’re fired.” And I was like, “Whoa!”

Shannon: Showbiz, baby!

Carly: That’s Hollywood!

Riese: Showbiz. That’s showbiz. But before this situation can escalate to where it’s clearly headed, we have to go to Hit Club, the hottest club in West Hollywood that is also the quietest.

Riese: Porter Peabody’s Pleasure Palace.

Shannon: It’s also the biggest lesbian club I’ve ever seen in my life.

Riese: Yeah, it’s the biggest.

Shannon: Is every lesbian from LA and the outlying LA there?

Carly: Yes.

Riese: Yeah, it’s enormous.

Shannon: Now we have lesbian parties, we don’t even have bars or clubs.

Carly: We don’t even have buildings.

Shannon: But it’s crammed into a… Well, Riese, you were at the opening night of Dana’s?

Riese: Yeah. I was, it was packed. Packed. You could not move. So Dawn Denbow’s security system—

Shannon: Oh my God.

Riese: … at SheBar is for sure illegal, right? You can’t just mic up your whole club?

Shannon: No.

Carly: That is something that only would happen in a movie, like a mob movie.

Shannon: Yeah.

Riese: There are so many TVs.

Shannon: So many TVs.

Riese: She has this whole control room.

Shannon: Watching the videos, you can very clearly hear every conversation.

Riese: Somehow.

Shannon: But no background noise at this huge warehouse party sized club.

Riese: Where music is, in theory, playing.

Shannon: Yes.

Carly: And yet somehow they’re getting clear audio of this conversation. It was incredible.

Riese: Wild.

Carly: I love also that their whole scheme rests upon this happening at Hit Club because of the security system.

Shannon: I know.

Carly: That is so funny. They’re like, “And then we have to get her to have the meeting at Hit Club because it’s wired for sound.” What?

Riese: It’s like no one has ever heard of just putting your phone in a purse with a camera and then aiming the purse camera at your mark.

Shannon: Yeah. I mean, this was a different era, so…

Riese: That’s true.

Shannon: I mean, when they were scheming in the beginning, they were using landlines, I will say.

Riese: That’s true. God, I miss landlines.

Carly: That’s a good point.

Riese: But before they can get into the scheme, Jenny shows up with Shane and Alice is mad at Jenny and yells at her again. And Jenny — again, this felt very improvised — Jenny’s like, “Was Beverly Hills Cop your idea too?” She’s just acting like Alice’s idea was so generic. And she can’t lay claim to it. But also, again, obviously not. And she’s like, “Maybe Shane is buying it, but I’m not.” So, whatever.

Shannon: But also I feel like the friends should have been more supportive of Alice because it’s literally her and Tasha.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Why has no one actually said that? It’s not even like the idea was generic or whatever. It’s like, it’s clearly about a talk show host and a cop.

Riese: A talk show host and a cop.

Carly: Why is no one talking about this? That’s the issue.

Shannon: Especially after the whole Lez Girls drama.

Carly: Right. No one’s drawing the connections between Shaun and Shane and Lez Girls and this.

Shannon: Yeah. That made me mad. They weren’t being good friends to Alice.

Carly: No.

Riese: No.

Carly: They’ve kind of abandoned her in this.

Shannon: Yes.

Carly: Jenny tells Alice that she’s being a child too, which I thought was right, because… Sure.

Riese: Also, Jenny’s hair at this point, they have these very severe, full forehead bangs that come down. So she looks like Emily the Strange.

Shannon: She does.

Carly: Incredible reference.

Shannon: Yeah, she does.

Carly: Jenny is out here with her Hot Topic bangs. Then Alice threatens her to her face in a room full of witnesses, by the way. You get that in this scene. Straight up. She’s like, “I’m going to murder you. They will find your body in a pool.”

Shannon: There was no subtlety in this episode about that. It’s shocking.

Carly: None. And then they’re able to see on this very crystal clear security system that Niki has arrived.

Riese: I, however, can’t see it because this scene, again—

Shannon: It’s so dark.

Riese: Did they have a budget for one desk lamp or something?

Carly: One light. One small light.

Riese: I could not see anything that was happening. You have to watch this in a pitch dark room—

Shannon: Oh, I know.

Riese: …with a big screen to see a Goddamn thing that’s happening.

Shannon: But they can spot all their friends walking in one by one.

Carly: Easily.

Riese: I can’t, but they sure can.

Carly: Well, Riese, you weren’t there, okay?

Shannon: That’s true.

Riese: That’s true. You’re right. Jenny is super weird about Shane talking to Niki and is upset about it. And as Niki walks in, everyone’s like, “Oh my God, it’s Niki Stevens.”

Carly: “I love Niki Stevens!” It’s like ASMR.

Riese: I love Niki Stevens. Niki Stevens, Niki Stevens.

Carly: The way they recorded those voices or ADR’d them and then boosted the volume was so like, “Oh my God, it’s Niki Stevens.”

Riese: Niki Stevens. Niki Stevens. It’s great.

Shannon: But then later on, there’s a shot of Niki just dancing alone at this club—

Carly: Alone!

Shannon: …and I’m like—

Riese: Right. Yeah, I’m like, as if.

Carly: No.

Shannon: She wouldn’t have been left alone like that, please.

Riese: No.

Carly: So Niki walks to the club and all of her adoring fans, and then she finds Dylan sitting in a booth with a full office set up, and we cut back to the whole gang has bowls of popcorn, which I actually really appreciated that.

Shannon: Oh my God. I know.

Carly: That was a really nice touch.

Riese: That was cute.

Carly: That was cute.

Riese: Then we go back to the restaurant where—

Carly: Oh God.

Riese: …Bette, for some reason takes it upon herself — as if this dinner isn’t appropriate enough already — to walk over to the other table at The Olive Garden where William and whatever, Aaron, are sitting with the mysterious filmmakers and starts yelling at them about how disrespectful and awful they are being to Tina.

Aaron: Bette, it’s Bette, right?
Bette: It’s Aaron, right?
Aaron: Yeah.
Bette: The bald impotent worm that we’ve all been talking about.
Aaron: Excuse me?
Bette: It is fucking stupefying to me how you can sit here with Martine, Susan, right? Tina’s writers and get to—
Tina: Bette.
Bette: What?

Riese: And then Tina sees that and pulls Bette aside and is like, “Yo, no.” And then, in blatant violation of Title IX, Aaron says out loud twice—

Carly: Two times.

Aaron: That’s why I am so happy to be done with dykes.

Tina: What did you say?

Aaron: I said, I am so happy to be done with dykes.

Riese: Again, you can’t actually say this. This counts as discrimination. You can’t say this.

Shannon: I don’t think though… I mean, anyone would say this openly even if you are not a fan of lesbians.

Carly: Right, no one who wants to continue to have a career.

Shannon: And I mean, I guess back then… I wasn’t in the biz back then, yet. I don’t even know what year this was.

Carly: I was not yet in the biz.

Riese: 2009.

Carly: Was I? No, I was not.

Riese: Well, we had our own film production company, me and Carly, where we made videos—

Shannon: What was it called?

Riese: …of ourselves acting like we were in The L Word, describing the industry on YouTube.

Shannon: Yeah. And that’s how I found you and became huge fans.

Riese: Right. It all comes around.

Carly: Oh, God.

Riese: Carly dies inside every time really.

Carly: Every time. Anyway, Aaron’s like, “I’m so happy to be done with dykes!” in the middle of The Olive Garden. And they’re like, “Sir, no more free breadsticks for you.”

Riese: Yeah. “Sir, this is an Olive Garden.”

Carly: Yes. This is the definition of, “Sir, this is an Olive Garden” right here. He’s at The Olive Garden at Burbank.

Riese: You can’t just say you’re happy to be done with dykes in the middle of The Olive Garden. What?

Shannon: Very loudly. But none of the extras turned around. And I’m just like…

Carly: No one even notices. None. Zero.

Riese: No one. I mean, multiple witnesses hear and he’s sitting with two people who are not necessarily loyal to him yet. This is just so dumb.

Carly: And you could see one of the screenwriter ladies, and she was not reacting to anything—

Riese: She could be gay.

Carly: …that was happening when Tina was screaming at him.

Riese: No.

Carly: Tina publicly accuses William of stealing the negative. All this stuff is happening and those two screenwriters are just chilling. And I was like, run. Just run. It doesn’t matter who you believe, just run.

Shannon: I know. It doesn’t matter how much money.

Carly: Don’t get involved with any of these people. There’s other producers out there, just leave.

Shannon: Shaolin Studios is not where you have to have your project.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: They had a huge sexual harassment case like a year ago. It’s not a good place to work at all.

Riese: And they’re about to have another.

Tina: You stupid fucking cock sucker. How dare you sit there with that smug little smile on your face and wine and dine my writers on a project that took me three years to put together as if you had anything, anything, to do with it. He said you were talentless hacks. Yeah. And I begged him to hire you. I have put everything into this job, I have poured my heart and my soul and my talent into making you both look good time and time and again. And how do you repay me? By stealing my contacts and icing me.
Aaron: Tina keep your voice—
Tina: Shut your pie hole, Aaron. I have never in all of my life, worked for such an idiotic, mindless, juvenile, cruel, pathetic loser of a human being such as you. You are soulless and you’re everything about this fucking Hollywood that I hate.
William: Now, this is really uncalled for. I mean—
Tina: Uncalled for? You know what’s uncalled for? A billionaire stealing the negative of his own movie just so he can put in a claim for insurance money.
William: What are you talking about?
Tina: And then to drag my name through the mud to forge my signature on a letter, accusing me of theft and fraud. It’s just downright criminal, William. And don’t think for a second that you are going to fucking get away with it because I know, I know. Enjoy your dinner.

Carly: This is so ridiculous.

Riese: Shut your pie hole!

Carly: I mean, we do get a shot—

Riese: Ma’am, this is an Olive Garden!

Carly: We do get a shot of him eating at one point, though, and it is gross.

Riese: Of course, it is.

Carly: But this is like, okay. Just everything you’re like, “All right. Sure.”

Shannon: What’s happening? And just the fact that seasoned TV people in this business who are lesbians wrote this. What?

Carly: Is this some kind of wish fulfillment? Like these are the things they always wanted to say to some straight cis white male producers, but never could? Maybe that’s what this is?

Riese: And they was like, “Finally, shut your pie hole.”

Carly: You’re a loser.

Riese: Back to Hit Club where Niki claims to have loved the film Atonement, which I don’t think is true. And then she says, “If you want to win an Oscar, you’ve got to play ugly, the R word or a lesbian.”

Carly: And then proceeds to—

Shannon: To list every problematic role.

Carly: Every — oh my God.

Riese: So she lists all these people that have won Oscars for playing those things. This is in the discourse already, people know this, that often if you are playing one of these things, people often nominate you for Oscars, you know what I mean?

Carly: I mean, the fact that she has so much evidence to support her claim. If you’re straight and you play gay and it’s dramatic, you will get nominated.

Riese: Oscar.

Carly: Yeah. And if you are an attractive person and you make yourself less attractive for a role, there’s a good shot people are going to at least pay attention.

Riese: Good chance.

Shannon: Oh, yeah.

Riese: Yeah. Because that’s when they know you’re really acting.

Carly: You’re like, whoa, acting.

Riese: Right. Obviously the worst part of this whole speech of nonsense is her final declaration is Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry. Total lesbian.

Carly: Oh my God. Yeah. This was-

Shannon: I know.

Riese: Did you see the film?

Carly: No. Niki Stevens didn’t see the film.

Shannon: No, she didn’t.

Carly: Also, do not get me started on em>Boys Don’t Cry. I will go off for an hour.

Riese: I don’t feel like there’s any room to watch that film. What? The point of the film is that her character is a guy. That’s the point of the movie.

Carly: Everything she says is wrong.

Shannon: Especially now.

Carly: Oh my God.

Shannon: Yeah. Anyways.

Carly: I watched the scene through my hands. I was just like, “Oh my God. She said the R word 14 times.”

Riese: It’s kind of a throwaway line. But this is a character on The L Word, which is being watched by millions of lesbians all over the world who are already getting this really, really weird idea of — who are already getting all those transphobic shit through Max — to have somebody say, unchallenged, to basically deny that Brandon Teena was a guy. And that just be part of the dialogue, that’s really fucked up.

Shannon: I know.

Riese: Anyway.

Carly: Oh my God.

Riese: Dylan is like, “I don’t think you have to be ugly. I think you just have to be real.” Because Dylan’s a real director.

Carly: Wow, Dylan. That’s great. It’s really great that you let Niki say all that stuff and didn’t oppose her in any way. Real moral character.

Riese: Back in the control room—

Shannon: Oh God.

Riese: Shane says something about rope-a-dope.

Carly: Yeah. I don’t know what is.

Riese: No follow up on that.

Carly: No, none.

Shannon: I didn’t catch that.

Carly: Shane was like, “Niki’s going to make her move in three, two, one.” And then she did. And then for some reason this made Jenny crazy.

Riese: Yeah. She went insane. Dylan tells Niki that she fucked up with Helena, and Niki is like, “Yeah, I fuck up too. But you know it feels so good in the moment.” And then Alice drops her popcorn. Everything’s off for a second.

Shannon: Everything shuts off.

Carly: I love that placing a popcorn bowl on a keyboard caused the whole thing to shut down.

Shannon: The whole system to shut down. And then, they easily turn it back on. Alice turns it back on as if she knows how to.

Carly: It’s back.

Shannon: In reality, all that equipment, it would be like, “What? Which? What?”

Carly: No. He would be the only person that could get them back online.

Shannon: Yeah.

Riese: Okay. So Dylan rejects Niki’s advances saying, for one, it’s unethical for a director to sleep with the star of the movie. And then back in the control room, Alice says to Jenny, “Guess you didn’t get that memo.” And Jenny’s like…

Jenny: Fuck off.

Riese: And I loved that.

Carly: I love that as well.

Shannon: That was cute. That was funny.

Riese: And then Niki blatantly says, “If you want to direct this film, you have to come home with me tonight.” And she says, “I guess I’m not directing this film.” And then everyone cheers.

Carly: They’re like, “She did it. We tried to entrap her.”

Shannon: Like, “We won.”

Carly: Are you proud of yourselves?

Riese: What? Also, in 2020, you know that Dylan would have done a thing on a Notes app and tweeted that, back in 2009, Niki Stevens tried to coerce her into sex saying that she would not let her direct the film unless they slept together. And Niki would get canceled.

Carly: Wait.

Riese: Niki Stevens is over party.

Carly: I really hope season two of Gen Q brings back Niki Stevens.

Riese: Yes.

Carly: And then Dylan’s character comes back purely as a Notes app apology — or a Notes app announcement. Yes.

Shannon: Just a screen grab on her social media.

Carly: Alice could be like, “You guys, did you see what Dylan posted?” “Dylan?” “Yeah. Remember Dylan?”

Riese: Yeah. And everyone would be like, “Oh, shit.” And they’ll be like, “Should we explain what happened?” And they’ll be like, “Eh.”

Carly: Oh my God. So then, Helena looks completely shell shocked by the whole experience. And everyone is like, “All right, let’s go get a drink.” Blah, blah, blah. And Alice is like, “Yeah, I’ll be right there.”

Shannon: Helena is the one with morals now.

Carly: Right. Exactly. And Alice is like, “Oh, I’ll be right there.” Because she’s going to spy on Tasha and Jamie for one or two seconds. That was it.

Riese: Yeah. She zooms right in.

Carly: It was so easy to find them and zoom in.

Shannon: But it has this little smart, quick, “tee-hee-hee.” Like, “There are my girls!”

Carly: Yes. I’m like, “Go make out with both of them. Why are we not doing this?”

Riese: Threesome, threesome, threesome.

Shannon: Too bad.

Riese: One thing that did drive me bananas in Gen Q that through all of the conversations they had about the throuple that not one of them involved Alice bringing this up!

Shannon: I mean, to be fair, I didn’t even remember this until… And I did re-watch this season—

Riese: Oh, really?

Shannon: …before I started working on Gen Q.

Riese: I remembered it.

Carly: Justice for Jamie, I guess would be the hashtag that was created right now.

Riese: Yeah. Justice for Jamie. Jamie should have come in earlier also. No, I remember Jenny because she’s the first — or Jamie. Jamie, because she’s the first queer Asian character that happens in the entire series.

Shannon: Yeah.

Carly: Midway through season six.

Riese: And we get her joining midway through season six in this show that’s set in Los Angeles, California, which I just find…

Shannon: Asians in LA? No.

Carly: That’s weird.

Riese: None.

Shannon: None.

Riese: No.

Carly: We don’t have Asian people here. Oh, wait.

Shannon: My goodness.

Carly: This fucking show.

Shannon: But I mean, I have nothing to do with Gen Q this upcoming season, but if there is not a freaking butch lesbian…

Riese: Oh my God.

Shannon: I will lose my shit. Because I mean—

Carly: Like, what is happening, guys?

Shannon: …even our crew had some of like — like, you’re friends with Moira.

Carly: Oh my God. Yeah.

Shannon: The DP.

Carly: The whole camera teams.

Shannon: The whole camera team had all these super, great, awesome butch lesbians, which you could’ve created a character based off of them.

Carly: We have those in LA. We have butch lesbians in LA.

Riese: Yeah, they’re all over the place.

Carly: We’re just crawling with them.

Riese: Non-binary people, also all over, all over LA.

Carly: All over the place. So many of us.

Riese: All over spaces that are also occupied by lesbians. They’re everywhere. It’s wild.

Carly: We’re coexisting, we’re here, and it’s in LA.

Riese: Yeah, exactly.

Shannon: Anyways.

Riese: Anyways.

Carly: So Helena goes to see Dylan, who’s still in the booth with her office supplies. And they have a very intimate conversation, because again, this is the quietest nightclub of all time.

Riese: Right. I mean, if there was a club where you could hear people speak that clearly—

Carly: I would go to it all the time.

Shannon: I’d be into it.

Riese: Because that’s what I don’t like about clubs, is the yelling in the ears.

Shannon: Yeah, I hate that.

Carly: Do you think we could start an over 30 queer night?

Shannon: Oh my God.

Carly: Once life is normal again?

Riese: Where the music has to be like—

Carly: The music is a little lower and no one under 30 is allowed in unless a handful of people who are over 30 vouch for them that they’re chill.

Shannon: I would love that.

Riese: Yeah, exactly. Chill

Carly: We just get to listen to music and hang out. I don’t know. That just sounds nice.

Riese: Yeah.

Shannon: That sounds fun.

Riese: Dylan says she came back to LA because she couldn’t stop thinking about Helena, which is very presumptuous.

Carly: It really is.

Shannon: I mean, I will go to defend Dylan. This is her first lesbian, we’re meant to believe—

Riese: Love?

Shannon: …love, right? And experience.

Carly: So then her behavior does make sense.

Shannon: I mean…

Carly: Historically.

Shannon: Historically.

Riese: That’s true. Yeah. Again, Blue Is the Warmest Color.

Shannon: But also we’re meant to believe that Dylan, Alexandra, has since been straight.

Riese: Yes.

Shannon: Until she met Helena.

Carly: She’s truly the queerest looking character on the show—

Shannon: I know!

Carly: …is the least queer? Okay. Sure.

Riese: Elsewhere in the club: Niki is dancing, really feeling herself. Again, alone.

Shannon: She’s alone and under a spotlight.

Riese: Tasha, Alice and Jamie are going watermelon, watermelon, watermelon, and then laughing.

Carly: That’s some inside Hollywood biz talk.

Shannon: Showbiz, baby. Oh God, I’m saying this too much. I’m going to regret this when I hear this later.

Carly: I’m just going to start saying it all the time, is what’s going to happen. And then I’m in trouble.

Riese: That’s showbiz. My favorite part of the relationship is they couldn’t figure out what they were talking about, so they just laugh. All they’re doing is they’re just laughing at each other. So we get the vibe that—

Carly: They’re having fun together? Yeah.

Riese: Yeah. They could have a better time if they had sex.

Shannon: Had sex, yeah. I agree.

Carly: Yes. And then Jenny’s just reading Shane’s text messages.

Riese: Right, like what? Jenny!

Carly: And then Shane goes, “What are you doing?” And Jenny goes…

Jenny: I was reading your text messages.

Shane: Yeah. No shit. You were seeing if Niki texted me.

Jenny: I was seeing because she has your phone number and I wanted—

Shane: She’s not texting me, Jenny.

Shannon: To be fair, that is in character for Jenny, right?

Carly: That is very, yes.

Shannon: That is something that I would totally buy. But also, did cell phones not have locks then? I guess, is that flip phone days?

Riese: Shane would never have locked her phone.

Shannon: Yeah.

Carly: Yeah. Then Alice, Tasha and Jamie come and sit down with Jenny and Shane and Shane is like, “Alice, keep Jenny occupied. She’s driving me crazy. I need to go outside for five minutes.” And comes up with this great story about how someone just told her that she left her headlights on. What? I thought this club had valet. So this really wouldn’t be her issue.

Riese: Yeah. Jenny reads Shane’s texts, Jenny remodels her room, Jenny makes sure to throw out her t-shirts but she accepts the lights on.

Carly: Yeah. Shane’s like, “I’ll be right back. I’m just going outside for five minutes.” And Jenny doesn’t follow… I really was shocked that Jenny didn’t follow her outside.

Shannon: I know.

Riese: I know.

Carly: I was truly shocked.

Riese: Yeah. Also, just say you’re going to go out… Oh, I guess if she had said she was going to go have a cigarette, then Jenny would have wanted to come with her.

Carly: We quit smoking.

Shannon: Yeah. We quit smoking, when she comes back.

Riese: Oh, right. I forgot about this. Oh, yeah. You’re right.

Carly: We remodeled the bedroom. We quit smoking. We don’t talk to Niki. That’s what’s happening.

Riese: So then we cut to Dylan’s condo or wherever.

Carly: Wherever Dylan lives.

Shannon: Her corporate housing.

Riese: Yeah, her corporate — Dylan has her tea because she’s like, “I’m entertaining a British woman at 11:00 p.m.”

Carly: So I must make tea.

Shannon: Crumpets and tea.

Riese: Yeah. So it’s a little tea break. She has some scones and some tea and she started to have these little biscuits. They’re from Manchester.

Shannon: Something I did not find believable about this episode is not a single one of them was drinking ever, while they’re at the club, scheming.

Carly: They kept talking about drinks like, “Oh, let’s go get a drink.” But no one was drinking it.

Riese: Right. No one was. Has anyone ever gone from the club to someone’s house with someone they have sexual tension with and instead of immediately having a drink, had hot tea?

Carly: This one time here in this episode is the only time it’s ever happened. And Helena is like, “I don’t know what I’m doing here.” And Dylan’s like, “Well, we can just talk.” And then they stare at each other for five minutes. Uninterrupted, no music, nothing.

Shannon: Oh, yeah.

Carly: Just staring at each other.

Riese: Dylan is talking about rubber trees.

Carly: Oh my God. Yeah. I completely wasn’t listening.

Shannon: This whole episode is just too quiet. The sex they have is the quietest sex I’ve ever…

Riese: Yeah. No music. They start making out, zero music. Some of it is shot from behind a shelf, maybe? Things I did during this sex scene: I watched TikTok, I painted my nails, I ordered some paper towels, I sent a text message to Lauren and Carly about something. I have never been so—

Shannon: Bored.

Riese: …profoundly bored during a sex scene.

Carly: Same.

Riese: As I was.

Carly: I wrote in my notes, “I barely paid attention to this sex scene.” And I’m trying to think of what I was… I was sitting here, I was watching it. I think I was just on my phone? I think I was playing a game on my phone. Checking Instagram. I was like, “This is going on forever.”

Riese: My notes are, “I’m bored low-key. Helena has got full garters and thigh highs? Blah, blah, blah, where’s the music?”

Carly: I think part of the reason that a sex scene is good is that you have to be invested in the characters or the sex scene has to just be hot.

Shannon: Be hot. Yeah.

Carly: And this was neither. We love Helena, but who gives a shit about what Dylan’s doing?

Shannon: Yeah. Totally.

Carly: No one cares about Dylan. No offense to the Dylan stans out, all one of you maybe.

Shannon: I’ve never encountered a Dylan stan. I don’t think so.

Carly: I don’t believe they exist.

Shannon: Why does it have to be so long then if it’s going to be so quiet?

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Nothing happened either. It’s not that they were just going at it for hours. Everything was taking a really long time.

Shannon: It truly felt like — when you’re shooting sex scenes, it is the longest days and the longest things to shoot and super hard. But this felt like you were a crew member on set just watching this scene. It was like there was no—

Riese: Uncut.

Shannon: Yeah.

Carly: Yeah, there were very few edits. It was very long. It was just the raw footage, I think.

Riese: I mean, Helena stuck her hand down Dylan’s pants at the coffee-tea station in the condo when Dana was dying. They had wild animal sex on a bed in front of a sunset of the whole majestry of the Southern California.

Carly: On the beach!

Riese: In all of the pastels, they had sexual harassment lawsuit sex in the editing bay of their film.

Carly: They did.

Riese: And this is what Dylan moved to LA for, is this?!

Carly: Yeah, this is the big reunion. This is what we go out on?

Shannon: The big like, “Wow, they should be together. They belong together.”

Carly: It’s just like, what is happening?

Riese: I was so bored.

Carly: It was so boring. Maybe these characters need the element of danger in order for it to be interesting, and this felt safer? I don’t know. I don’t want to try to read into it—

Shannon: I don’t know.

Carly: …because I think they could have cut these scenes down.

Shannon: Could they not cut it because they just shot it in one take?

Carly: Right? It just looks like that. You could cut it down. You could totally cut it down. It’d be fine.

Shannon: Add some sex noises or something.

Carly: Music, something?

Riese: Add a song. Put on some Usher.

Shannon: The budget was so low they couldn’t get any songs.

Carly: Oh my God.

Riese: Yeah. Mathew Star was like, “Sorry, you cannot not afford us.”

Carly: Portishead was like, “Please leave me alone. Stop calling.”

Riese: Portishead is like, “For the last time, no.” Oh, man.

Carly: We have fun.

Shannon: Oh, man.

Riese: The Indigo Girls, they should have done this. They could have done a nice Indigo Girls sex scene. What if they did “Hammer and a Nail,” to this sex scene? If they were — “get out of bed, get a hammer and a nail.” That’s good for this because they’re in bed and they’re nailing.

Carly: I’m happy to report that I only know one Indigo Girls song.

Riese: I know all of them.

Carly: I know you do.

Riese: I’d like to nominate—

Shannon: I know the classics.

Riese: …”Get Out the Map” for this sex scene. I think that would have been a nice little genre fun that we’d be having. Speaking of fun we’re not having. We go outside.

Carly: Whoa! Yeah, yeah. Riese, Riese, Riese, Riese.

Riese: We’re outside Hit Club, Shane is smoking. Guess who shows up? It’s Niki. Niki asks for a cigarette.

Carly: I’m shocked.

Riese: They smoke. Niki flirts, Shane hits on Niki. Shane’s like, “I’m with Jenny.” Niki’s like, “Oh, I misinterpreted your personality.” And then Shane says, “If Jenny wasn’t in the picture, maybe things would be different.”

Shannon: Right?

Riese: This relationship is going really well.

Carly: Yikes! This is great. Their relationship’s off to a great start. How long have they been dating? Three days? This is going really well. She’s already made her throw out all her clothes.

Riese: Yeah. And also Jenny has been busy. She had to write a whole screenplay, bidding war.

Carly: And then get agents and sell it.

Riese: That was really time consuming.

Carly: How did she find time to turn Shane’s bedroom into an office when she was writing and selling a script?

Riese: And back.

Shannon: And back.

Carly: And turn it back.

Shannon: I feel like now I need to go back and watch this because continuity shit pisses me off.

Carly: Don’t. It’ll drive you crazy. We’re living proof of why you shouldn’t do that because we’ve both lost our minds.

Shannon: I’m not going to do it.

Carly: Don’t do it.

Shannon: You’re right.

Riese: Back inside Hit Club, Jamie and Tasha are yelling at Jenny about Alice’s screenplay, which I love. So kind of her girlfriends to defend her.

Carly: Jenny looks at Jamie and goes…

Jenny: I don’t even know who you are.

Carly: That was so funny.

Riese: Then, Jenny wants Shane to pick a side. Shane is just like, bug-eyed Shane. They get back out to the dance floor and now Jenny is being completely bananas. And Shane is trying to manage it, knowing what she knows about Jenny as a person from their friendship, is like, “You can’t control everything. You have to stop putting me in a box.” And she’s like, “I’m not putting you in a box.” She’s like, “Look at me, I’m in a box.” And it’s like, well…

Carly: And she does mime bit.

Riese: Then she’s like—

Carly: “This is me in a box.” And Jenny’s like, “Well, that’s not in a box because if you were in a box, you’d be a mime and then you wouldn’t be talking to me. And also it’s crazy that I can hear you on the dance floor.” It’s so quiet.

Riese: And it’s also crazy I could even see you because it’s so dark in here.

Carly: So dark in here.

Shannon: Oh, yeah. For our lesbian party, it should be mood lighting, but not pitch-black for the over 30 club.

Riese: Exactly.

Carly: We all want to look good and you need good lighting.

Riese: It has soft lighting so you can’t tell that our faces are falling off of our faces, but.

Carly: Look, this is an over 30 club. So we have to have kind lighting.

Shannon: Yeah. For sure.

Carly: But I think that there’s a way to do it that’s going to be really, really wonderful. I know enough people that work in lighting that I think we can pull it off.

Shannon: Yeah. For sure.

Carly: Get all those bushes from the camera department, group and lighting.

Riese: Shane’s like, “Listen, if I had to choose between our romantic relationship and our friendship, I would pick our friendship. And I don’t want to fuck that up, or for anything to get in the way of that.” And then Jenny — fully deranged, wildly, baddy, bananas, Emily the Strange, red room Jenny — is like, “The only thing that would get in the way of our friendship is if our romantic relationship doesn’t work?”

Shannon: Which is just, like, red flags, everywhere.

Carly: Just flag on the play, flag on the play, flag on the play. They’re all red.

Riese: Right. Flag, flag, flag.

Carly: Oh my God.

Shannon: No.

Carly: And then Jenny’s like, “I love you.” And it’s just like this is… Oh my God, this is so manipulative and weird.

Shannon: As somebody who has dated a lot of people who they were friends with first, this is just not something that… No.

Carly: No, this is very bad.

Riese: No.

Carly: This is very toxic. And I’m very concerned for Shane. Jenny is like, “I love you.” And Shane does that thing that people only say on movies.

Me too! Hashtag me too.

Carly: When she says, “Me too.”

Shannon: Oh, I know.

Carly: That’s like not really saying it back.

Shannon: No.

Carly: That’s the thing you say when you are—

Shannon: When you don’t mean it. When you don’t love them.

Carly: But I also know that we’re going to get in a fight. I’m trying to end a fight here. So, me too.

Shannon: Same.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Right back at you, babe.

Riese: Ditto.

Carly: Ditto.

Shannon: Oh God.

Riese: Even from Jenny’s point of view, I mean, I guess people are like this out in the world all the time. We all know that, we’ve all known them.

Shannon: But Riese, also, you’re a supporter of this relationship.

Carly: Yes, you are.

Riese: I’m a supporter of the relationship between Shane and Jenny based on who their characters were in season five. But the way that this plays out is… No, I’m not supportive of it. I’m mad at it. I’m mad that they were so focused on making Jenny murderable that they made this how it was. And even, Jenny has done fucked up things in relationships before, but not like this.

Shannon: For sure.

Riese: You know? And she’s been with people who she really loved and she’s done low-key crazy things, but this is high-key. And also, you don’t want to be with someone who’s only with you out of fear. I had so much anxiety already that if I’m with someone that they secretly don’t like me or don’t want to be with me, but the idea that they’re only there because I’ve threatened them, that our friendship will mess up otherwise, that’s not good on either end.

Carly: I don’t recommend that.

Riese: What?

Carly: Not good.

Shannon: Where’s Dan Foxworthy when you really need him?

Carly: Oh my God. The only therapist in LA.

Riese: Speaking of relationships that probably won’t work out, we go to Dylan’s, where finally someone has turned on some goddamn music. Finally.

Shannon: But how? When?

Riese: The Indigo Girls called and were like, “We got a 911.” Anyway, it doesn’t matter. But the point is that Helena is weeping.

Shannon: Oh God.

Carly: Yes, she’s sobbing.

Shannon: Sobbing.

Riese: Her whole M.O. this season has just been a scared facial expression. She’s had two lines.

Shannon: And this is post her being in jail, right? Or prison.

Riese: Yeah.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: That was hot.

Shannon: I feel like she would have toughened up a little bit.

Carly: Yeah. Her character’s been through life stuff now, which before she was just like a sheltered rich girl who didn’t have to worry about anything. And now her character should have evolved to having been through so many different things.

Shannon: I guess that’s what sex — when it’s true love, you cry, I guess.

Riese: Yeah. I think that every time that Helena looks at Dylan, she just feels so completely dismantled.

Carly: Good one.

Riese: So anyway, their sex scene ends. I don’t even remember — I know we ranked every sex scene, so we must have ranked this one. But for some reason I feel like I have no memory of it existing.

Carly: It’s very forgettable. It ends with her crying and the both of them saying they’re scared. I mean, it’s… meh.

Riese: Yeah.

Shannon: I feel like this episode had a lot of rewrites happen.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Yeah. And a lot of it felt improvised as well.

Carly: I’ll say that the hijinks and the comedy are great because it’s Angela Robinson, and then, everything else just felt thrown in real quick and not… Ooh, it just didn’t feel fully baked. I don’t know.

Shannon: No.

Riese: Right.

Shannon: I mean, this whole season…

Carly: Well, it could be related to real life things like writing or budget, but it could be more along the lines of some sort of scientific disturbance.

Riese: Scientific disruption. Yeah.

Carly: Is it possible that given the proximity of Bette’s home to Hit Club and The Planet — all these places are in the same… They’re all in West Hollywood, they’re all nearby. All right. What I think happened.

Riese: Okay. Science.

Carly: Once again, science took over. The butterfly effect, created an alternate reality version of Hit Club, that’s very quiet, and that allows for things like this to happen. And by Helena being in Hit Club all the time, it rubbed off on her. So when she went to Dylan’s place of residence, it affected her as well.

Riese: Dylan’s corporate housing.

Carly: I just really think that the dress — the butterfly — is responsible for what’s going on with Jenny, with Helena, with Tina and Bette.

Riese: Alice, Bette and Tina.

Carly: I think you can trace it back to everybody.

Shannon: I think that tracks.

Carly: I think so.

Riese: I think that tracks.

Carly: I think that we should really spend some time studying this in a scientific way.

Riese: It’s also — it’s like magical realism in a way. You know what I mean?

Carly: And as Shannon mentioned earlier, this is purely a work of science fiction this season, which is correct.

Riese: Syfy.

Carly: Exactly.

Riese: S-Y-F-Y.

Carly: S-Y-F-Y.

Riese: Syfy. It’s the one after Wynonna Earp.

Carly: That would be a really good programming lineup for Syfy.

Riese: Season six of The L Word, Wynonna Earp.

Carly: Right after Wynonna Earp, new episodes.

Riese: Maybe a little — like Killjoys or something in there.

Carly: Yeah. That would be great actually. Syfy, you should call us. We have some ideas.

Shannon: Oh my God.

Riese: Yeah. My number one idea is, could you play Quantum Leap more often? Then we go back to Hit Club?

Carly: We have a slow-mo montage at the club to end the episode.

Shannon: I mean, everything is just very boring in this last — I was just like, “This is how they’re going to end?”

Carly: Did the episode end yet?

Shannon: Why would anyone want to watch the next one after this?

Carly: I know.

Riese: Were they trying to just get, when you add 100 more words to your paper by, just…

Shannon: Yeah.

Riese: It was slow motion for no reason. I felt like, are you trying to make this episode last, the amount of time it needs to last for everyone to get the paycheck that they were promised for participating in this episode? Because why is this in slow motion? Alice, Jamie and Tasha again, ha-ha-ha-ha, watermelon, watermelon. Jenny and Shane, slow-mo looking at each other. What?

Shannon: I mean, I feel like usually when you’re shooting episodes and stuff, you go over in time and have to cut them down a lot.

Carly: Here, that was not the case.

Shannon: But here they’re like, “I just got to stretch…”

Riese: Yeah, stretch.

Carly: Don’t make any edits to that sex scene. And add in more slow motion walking and looking.

Shannon: It just really feels like it’s hitting that last season of a show and you’re going into it and you’ve just given up.

Carly: It’s kind of like senioritis when you’re in school.

Shannon: Right.

Riese: And it’s also like every day is senior skip day.

Shannon: Truly.

Riese: Everyone here was hard hit with senioritis on this show. It was contaminating everything. And I do think that what they could have done is it could have been like the Go Magazine Nightlife Awards for Hit, but it was done remotely. And so Helena and Dylan would be sitting in Helena’s bed, wearing matching pajamas with a large white dog, and then Helena would win Nightclub of the Year for Hit Club. And then her and Dylan would kiss for 10 seconds and it would be way hotter than the sex scene. True or false?

Shannon: True.

Carly: That’s brilliant.

Shannon: I don’t know what you’re referencing.

Riese: Thank you.

Carly: I can’t imagine what you’re talking about. I love the Zoom Nightlife Awards.

Shannon: The nights.

Riese: You remember the Go Nightlife Awards?

Carly: I do. I like the idea of giving out Nightlife Awards when no one’s at the club for a year.

Shannon: Going back to our, once we’re back in the world, over 30 party, I think our goal should just be to win a lesbian nightlife award. I think that might be my new goal in life.

Carly: Yes.

Riese: Right. Yeah, fuck the Pulitzer.

Carly: But I’m also dead serious about starting a queer nightclub for older people.

Shannon: I mean, let’s talk about this.

Carly: I’m really down to talk. I’m going to set up a Zoom meeting about this.

Shannon: Great.

Riese: Well, I think that’s the episode!

Carly: That’s the episode.

Shannon: Wow!

Carly: We did it.

Shannon: It was a slow-mo job to the finish of that episode.

Carly: That episode could have been 10 minutes shorter and would have been a much stronger episode.

Riese: I agree.

Carly: There still would have been parts that we were horrified by, like Jenny’s stuff and the terrible Olive Garden scene.

Riese: God, I almost forgot about the Olive Garden scene.

Carly: But there was fun friend campiness going on that it could have been a better episode if they could have trimmed it quite a bit.

Shannon: Yeah. For sure. I mean, the most offensive things about this episode were just the references in queer media.

Carly: Yeah.

Riese: Yeah. I mean, every episode something is offensive. This episode was only offensive for a short period of time.

Carly: Right. This episode had way less transphobia than the rest of the season.

Shannon: Because the trans character was not in it, though.

Riese: Exactly.

Carly: But there was the Boys Don’t Cry line, which was of course, deeply transphobic.

Riese: Yeah. They still found a way.

Carly: They found a way.

Riese: And that is honestly something me and Carly, I think we’ve talked about that we’ve noticed throughout the seasons, is that the times when The L Word is least transphobic are the episodes that Max isn’t in.

Carly: Yup. Because they just can’t help themselves when he’s around. They can’t help but be terrible to him. It’s kind of incredible.

Riese: It is.

Carly: I feel like at the end of an episode where we’re like, “This one wasn’t that transphobic.” We’re like, “Oh, Max was only in one scene. That’s why.” Or he just wasn’t there at all.

Shannon: In this one, he wasn’t in it at all and they still managed to be a little transphobic, and not even reference Max once. Not even mention Max once. I mean, they could have slipped in a Max reference with the whole tech video camera, securities camera stuff.

Carly: Yeah, easily.

Riese: Easily.

Carly: Somebody could have said when Alice turned everything off with her popcorn they could have been like, “Oh, we need—”

Shannon: Where is Max when you need him?

Carly: Yeah, exactly.

Riese: Exactly. Yeah. Shannon, do you have anything about yourself that you would like to plug?

Shannon: I mean, you know, it’s been a slow year. I don’t know if you guys know this, but it’s been a slow year.

Carly: It sure has.

Shannon: I mean, right now, the only project I have going on is I’m producing the adaptation of a book called Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by T Kira Madden.

Riese: That’s such a good book. I loved it.

Carly: It’s going to be awesome.

Shannon: Which is actually a book that I found via Autostraddle. I mean, maybe do I owe my whole career to you guys?

Riese: Yeah.

Shannon: Maybe.

Carly: I will take credit for that. Sure.

Riese: I’ll take it. Yeah.

I’m not in the habit of taking credit for things I had nothing to do with, but I think that change is starting today.

Shannon: But the movie is being written and in development right now, which is a nice slow process.

Carly: That’s awesome.

Shannon: But if you haven’t read the book, Long Live the Tribe of the Fatherless Girls, I recommend it.

Riese: Yeah. I loved it.

Carly: I famously haven’t read a book in a year until yesterday. But I will be reading it. It was on the list of books I wanted to read once I read again. And maybe I’m on that journey now. I might not be, but we’ll see.

Riese: I famously am a fatherless girl and, as such, really enjoyed it. I mean, I had a father, but he died. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that yet on this podcast.

Shannon: Kira had a father too and he died as well. Spoiler alert.

Riese: Exactly. We have that in common. Spoiler alert.

Carly: Oh my God.

Shannon: Yeah. Pick up that book. It’s a great book. And eventually you’ll be able to watch a movie adaptation of it.

Riese: It’s the sequel to The Wolf of Wall Street.

Shannon: Exactly.

Carly: Shannon, where can people find you on social media?

Shannon: My social handle on Instagram and Twitter is @Shandzee. S-H-A-N-D-Z-E-E. And right now Instagram — I just post a lot of shit about my dog, let’s be honest.

Carly: I know, but—

Riese: Everyone here loves dogs.

Carly: I enjoy the dog content. Shannon, thank you so much for joining us today.

Shannon: Thanks.

Carly: This was so excellent having you here.

Shannon: Thanks for having me. And now that it’s over, I’ll tell you that you popped my podcast cherry today.

Carly: Oh my God.

Riese: Wow!

Carly: Wow!

Riese: What an honor.

Carly: This is great. Thank you all at home for listening. As always, we will be back in two weeks with our next episode.

Riese: “Lactose Intolerant.”

Carly: Oh my God. That’s right. It’s finally time for our favorite episode title. Next episode: “Lactose Intolerant.” Get ready. It’s going to be really painful.

Riese: Get your milk ready.

Carly: Get your dairy-free milk ready, it’s going to be bad.

Shannon: Get your oat milk ready.

Carly: Get your Oatly, we’re going in.

Riese: Fire up the oat milk. Get your Oatly, we’re going in. That’s what I always say.

Carly: That’s what I always say. Get your Oatly, we’re going in.

Riese: Going in.

Carly: Oh my God.

Carly: Thank you so much for listening To L and Back. You can find us on social media over on Instagram and Twitter, we are @tolandback. You can also email us to [email protected]. And don’t forget, we have a hotline. You can give us a call, leave a message, it’s (971) 217-6130. We’ve also got merch, which you can find at store.autostraddle.com. There’s stickers, there’s shirts, including a Bette Porter 2020 shirt, which is pretty excellent. Our theme song is by Be Steadwell. Our logo is by Carra Sykes, and this podcast was produced, edited, and mixed by Lauren Klein. You can find me on socials, I am @carlytron, Riese is @autowin. Autostraddle is @Autostraddle. And of course, autostraddle.com, the reason we are all here today.

Riese: Audostraddle.com.

Carly: All right. And finally, it’s time for our L Words. This is the segment of the show where we end things by simultaneously shouting out a random L word. Usually, these have little to no relevance to anything we just recapped. Okay. Riese, you ready?

Riese: Okay. One, two, three. Loosestrife.

Shannon: Lipsync.

Carly: Lactose intolerant.

Riese: What did you say?

Shannon: Lipsync.

Carly: Cute.

Riese: That’s nice.

Carly: Riese, what’d you say?

Riese: I said Loosestrife, which is the name of a Stephen Dunn poetry book that’s right there.

Shannon: It’s right next to you.

Carly: I said lactose intolerant because I’m still really excited about the next episode. I have zero creativity.

Riese: Well…

Shannon: I mean, I’ve had zero creativity this year.

Carly: Also, that.

Shannon: My King Lear did not happen this year.

Riese: And on that note, get your Oatly. The end.

Carly: We’ll see you in two weeks with your Oatly, your almond milk, your soy milk.

Shannon: Oatly, you should sponsor this podcast.

Carly: Rice milk.

Riese: Rice milk.

Carly: Actually, Oatly, definitely hit us up.

Shannon: All right.

Riese: Also, Carly needs a new mattress. If you want to give them a new mattress, also hit us up please. Well, bye.

Carly: Bye.

Shannon: Can you guys hear my dog in the background? Bye.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3211 articles for us.


  1. I came to see the Dana Fairbanks Memorial Plaque, and it definitely lived up to its hype! Truly a classic and fitting tribute.

  2. The butterfly bit always reminds me of Bart Simpson saying that in his next life he wants to come back as a butterfly because “nobody ever suspects the butterfly.” *insert evil laugh*

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